Gratuitous Announcements: Gratuitous Space Battles 2

Zap zap!

Gratuitous Space Battles was not a game of masterful tactics. It didn’t allow damn fool gambits. GSB was won or lost long before then. GSB is played in the planning, the design and customisation of a huge space fleet and the careful behaviours you order them to follow. Once your ships are ready to launch, it could run the numbers and say if you won or lost, but that would be somewhat against the name. The eponymous space battles are gratuitous, with cruisers and fighters and lasers and missiles and drones and so many explosions for you to simply watch.

Expect more explosions, as sequel Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is now officially announced.

Creator Cliff Harris of one-man studio Positech has been posting about his progress with the sequel for months now on his devblog, just never formally ‘announced’ it, so this is a bit gratuitous really.

GSB2 will making all those battles even prettier. It’s still 2D, but using new lighting and tricks to look less flat, and tarted up with flashier effects, zappier zapguns, more planety planets, and other stuff you might look at and comment “Hey, that’s quite pretty.” The battle view will support multiple monitors too, for people who want their entire field of view filled with spaceships and explosions.

Away from the pretty and towards the do-y, it’ll bring refuelling for fighters, formation improvements, new ship types in destroyers, dreadnoughts, and gunships, and other things secret for now.

Positech plan to release GSB2 late this year or early next year. Click this for a 5138×1485 version:

Pew pew!


  1. johnkillzyou says:

    I hope it goes for a larger scale, and logistics actually become something that matters.

  2. kulik says:

    Honestly, i think they could have go farther and introduce more gameplay elements. Boarding, limited command during battles, fixed gun mounts and arcs of fire and positioning, dynamic campaign…

    • BTAxis says:

      I thought the same way at first, but then I realized that I could just go play Sword of the Stars and get pretty much what I wanted.

    • sabasNL says:

      I believe limited commands and a dynamic campaignmode are already in, since those were introduced in the expansion of GSB1. Boarding and fixed arcs sound really interesting though, perhaps he’ll introduce them.

      Please be aware that very little besides “more” and “prettier” has been released about GSB2.

  3. Alberto says:

    I LOVE the first one, keep playing it, and I only wish the next one was a little more polished (I didn’t enjoy GtankBattles that much, but it had too its really good ideas).

    For me, it’s more about race-specific weapons and modules, so each race offers its flavour.

    But also, I love the non-synchronic multiplayer idea. Hope it’s again into the menu.

  4. Randomer says:

    The first time I heard of the original I read the name as “Gratuitous Space Beetles”. I was therefore quite disappointed after I purchased it.

  5. jonfitt says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing about these secret features which “transform the experience” of playing. I’m interested to see the idea evolve.
    I think more ships, more modules, and more pretty, is a perfectly valid reason for a sequel; but personally I’d like to see GSB evolve in other ways too.

  6. Tei says:

    Loved the original :D
    These screenshots looks crazy. What resolution is that?
    A game Ender Wiggin would love.

  7. JoeX111 says:

    I hope they make this one a bit more user friendly. I had a tough time with the original because it never really explained what weapons were good against which defenses or how to read a battlefield loss and interpret that into a future strategy. I guess you could figure it out by reading the descriptions of every single component available in the ship editor, but that felt like way too much work for a game that advertises itself as “things wot blow up in space.” Maybe the later addition of a campaign addressed this. I never went back to try.

  8. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    I 100% wont be buying this day one. The last one had races as dlc. Usually I dont much such things, except in strategy games, that have slight be rock paper scissors to them. It means that you have to pay for more options, which in strategy games are everything.
    Dont get me wrong, Cliff Harris is great, played the original GSB quite a bit, and Cliffs responces to bug fixes and suggested features was excellent. The suggestion forum, forgotten in most places, we used and replied to by Cliff, and many suggestions were implmented, sometimes just days after they were posted.

    But screw that DLC, big time. The first race to be released dominated the game for months, so if you wanted to play with the big boys, you had to pay up a second time after buying the game.

  9. racccoon says:

    There’s not a lot of light beams in this game.